For over three decades, Fred Rogers, better known as Mister Rogers, dominated weekday afternoon television. He was welcomed into living rooms around the world and kindly asked us all to be his neighbour. Mister Roger’s Neighborhood was a kids show like no other. The host, the sets, the subject matters were all unconventional but somehow it worked.
The show ran for over 30 years, but without a shadow of a doubt, the reason this show was a huge success was down to Mister Rogers himself.
Fred Rogers was the friendliest man on television. He didn’t talk down to children, he educated them on important and adult subjects but explained them in a way they could understand.
Now, a documentary has just been released about the incredible nature of this children’s TV presenter and humanitarian. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? has just been released in cinemas.
The documentary wants to showcase Fred’s touching nature and the inspiration behind his show and some of his most iconic episodes.
Even though The Simpsons‘ very own Ned Flanders was based largely on Mister Rogers, he was so much more than a friendly Christian character. Fred was a radical when it came to educating and inspiring children.
Though we all know Mister Rogers, not many people know much about Mrs Rogers
Though Mister Rogers is still a household name in America even after his passing in 2003, many don’t know about his wife. Joanne Rogers, a pianist, was married to the late television icon for 50 years.
The couple met at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Joanne had never met a man like Fred before.
“He was different. In his young days, he was lively and full of fun … but he talked about his feelings, and I could talk about my feelings to him, and the things that bothered us … the things that we loved.”
Joanne, now in her nineties, appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon recently. She spoke about Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and even shared a strange little fact that nobody knew about Fred.
“You can’t build a friendship without doing that. And don’t you have to have a friendship to fall back on through your married life? And we had it for 50 years, so that was nice.”
But there’s one thing about Fred Rogers’ appearance that had a truly significant backstory to his wife, Joanne
Most people don’t know this about Fred, but he liked to keep himself in shape, even in his later years. But it wasn’t all just for a health benefit – it was more symbolic than that.
Rogers worked hard to keep himself at a strict 143lbs. Not just for his health, but for his wife Joanne. Fred had a very special bond with Joanne and he had a fixation with the number 143.
Jimmy Fallon admitted to being a ‘Neighbor’ who grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. He was thrilled to be able to speak with Joanne. Not only that, he was blown away by Fred’s touching reason for weighing 143lbs throughout his adult life.
Don’t forget to watch Joanne Rogers talk about her late husband and the significance of the weight Mister Rogers liked to stay at for her in the video below. Also, at Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section. 🐝